American Jesse Thomas made a huge statement today at Ironman Lanzarote, beating defending Ironman world champion Jan Frodeno to earn his second career Ironman victory and likely solidify his spot on October’s Ironman World Championship start line. On the women’s side, Denmark’s Tine Holst turned in a patient race on the tough course to take her first Ironman title.
Frodeno led the men out of the water with a 46:52 swim split, but struggled with helmet issues in T1 and had to surrender his lead and get onto the bike about two minutes back. Stephen Bayliss (GBR) was first on the bike, with David McNamee (GBR), Johann Ackermann (GER), Ivan Raña (ESP) and Carlos López (ESP) following close behind. Frodeno, Miquel Blanchart (ESP), Timo Bracht (GER) and then Thomas trickled onto the bike following that lead group.
McNamee was the early instigator, earning a two-minute lead at the 40K mark. As the race wore on, McNamee faded and Ackermann took over the lead role. At the 90K mark, Ackermann’s advantage stood at 22 seconds over McNamee, 2:18 over Raña, 2:23 over Frodeno, 5:10 over Bracht and 5:14 over Thomas. Thanks to a 4:59:17 bike split on the difficult course, Ackermann was first onto the run and was followed by Frodeno and McNamee at about two minutes back, and Rana and Thomas at about three minutes back.
Frodeno pretty quickly inherited the top spot on the marathon course and looked to be running away from most of the competition. Only Thomas was keeping pace and had cut Frodeno’s advantage to 1:23 at the 20K mark. Thomas reached Frodeno at 25K and then worked to establish a lead—gaining a 52-second advantage by 30K. The American went on to turn in a 2:46:56 marathon to take the victory in 8:42:33. Frodeno followed in second at 8:44:38, with McNamee rounding out the top three at 8:46:36.
Great Britain’s Lucy Charles earned a monster lead onto the bike, thanks to a 47:11 swim split. Out of T1, her lead stood at eight minutes over Saleta Castro Nogueira (ESP), Tanja Slater (GER) and Diana Riesler (GER). Eventual podium finishers Holst and Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) each started the day near the back of the race with 14-plus minutes to make up on Charles out front.
While some of the competitors did manage to cut into Charles’ massive lead, her combined efforts on the swim and bike were enough to give her a slight advantage to start the marathon. She was followed off of the bike by Holst and then Riesler. Holst took over the top spot pretty quickly and ultimately turned in a 3:19:48 marathon to earn the victory in 10:02:35. Tondeur ran her way from sixth off of the bike to second at the finish line thanks a field-best 3:10:26 marathon. Long-time race leader Charles finished third in 10:10:13.
2016 Ironman Lanzarote
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain – May 21, 2016
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Jesse Thomas (USA) 8:42:33
2. Jan Frodeno (GER) 8:44:38
3. David McNamee (GBR) 8:46:36
4. Chris Baird (USA) 8:48:35
5. Ivan Raña (ESP) 8:50:09
1. Tine Holst (DEN) 10:02:35
2. Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) 10:04:53
3. Lucy Charles (GBR) 10:10:13
4. Diana Riesler (GER) 10:24:52
5. Caroline Livesey (GBR) 10:28:32